NBA Coach Says Luka Doncic’s Teammates Don’t Like Playing With Him

NBA Coach Says Luka Doncic’s Teammates Don’t Like Playing With Him

Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks are fighting for their season right now in a second-round playoff series against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Most expected OKC to be outmatched by a more veteran squad headlined by Doncic and Kyrie Irving, but that hasn’t been the case.

This week, questions began to arise about whether the Mavericks are actually better or worse with Doncic on the court.

Because of that debate, details began to emerge regarding how Doncic’s teammates feel about him. One NBA coach even made the case that Doncic’s teammates prefer when he comes off the court.

“One veteran assistant coach, underscoring the ball-dominance issue, said you can almost sense a ‘sigh of relief’ among Doncic’s teammates when he checks out of a game, ‘because it opens up a little more freedom’ for others to make plays,” a recent report noted.

“‘It’s a sense of, ‘Hey, now we get to play,’’ the coach said. ‘It’s difficult to have any rhythm if you’re not touching the ball.’ And when Doncic is off the floor, it’s a chance for those teammates to show ‘we don’t have to depend on him.’”

The stats seem to bear out an interesting and somewhat uncomfortable fact, too: Dallas is sometimes better without Doncic than with him.

“Yes, Luka Doncic is an amazing talent, but over 6 seasons the Mavs have been nearly as good when he’s on the bench as they are when he’s on the court,” Steve Ilardi observed.

“This season Dallas has been WORSE with Luka on the court! (On-Off NetRtg of -1.2) No other superstar shows this pattern.”

Either way, Doncic is clearly the face of the Mavericks. That isn’t changing any time soon.

The only question now is whether he can lead his squad into the Western Conference Finals.

Will Doncic and the Mavericks be able to advance past the Thunder in the second round? Time will tell.

Related: Erin Andrews’ Extremely Provocative Photo Shoot Goes Viral

Anthony Amador

A graduate from the University of Texas, Anthony Amador has been credentialed to cover the Houston Texans, Dallas Cowboys, San Antonio Spurs, Dallas Mavericks and high school games all over the Lone Star State. Currently, his primary beats are the NBA, MLB, NFL and UFC.
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